Homemade Ready-to-Drink Cocktails

House-Made Zima

We love fixing cocktails at home, but after a long, hard day sometimes we don't have the energy to dig out the jigger, shaker and juicer. What's a thirsty drinker to do? Fortunately, we've discovered a solution that we think you'll like: homemade bottled cocktails.

These concoctions have become quite popular recently and can be ordered in bars around the country, but ready-made elixirs don't have to be difficult to make. In fact, we've found a few simple recipes that you can whip up in minutes and store pretty much indefinitely.

One of the easiest is the Sandeman Royale. We heard about this tipple from Sandeman Port's chairman, George Sandeman, during this year's Tales of the Cocktail convention. All you do is open a bottle of port, pour yourself a glass to enjoy right away and refill the bottle with Scotch. Keep it in the freezer, and when you're ready to serve, portion the Rob Roy-like drink into Martini glasses. (Sandeman himself invented the formula, but he says a bartender at London's Lanesborough Hotel suggested the ingenious mix-in-the-bottle method.)

If you prefer spicy to sweet, try the Cajun Martini instead. It's a blend of jalapeño-infused vodka and dry vermouth that'll stay good for months. Liquor.com advisory board member David Wondrich shared the recipe with us, which was created by famed chef Paul Prudhomme at his New Orleans restaurant K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen and was a big hit in the 1980s.

For people of a certain age, cocktails in bottles might remind you of the Zima craze. You're not alone: After bottling a Bourbon Lemonade, Baltimore bartender Nick Jones decided to recreate the citrusy '90s favorite (pictured above) and added it to the menu at Pabu, the sushi spot and izakaya whose bar he runs. It calls for Calpico, a tangy Japanese soft drink, which is appropriate as Japan is the only place on Earth where you can still buy Zima today. Cheers!

Get the recipes for the Sandeman Royale, Cajun Martini and House-Made Zima on Liquor.com.

(Photo courtesy Tiffany Cianci and Pabu)

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